Watch Service: Rolex Air King. Cal 3000.

Rolex air king

The Rolex Air King is a simple looking watch and this one is powered by the Rolex calibre 3000, a relatively simple automatic movement. I particularly like the grey dial on this one. Its arrived on my bench as its losing time and is ready for a service.

First up I remove the case back and we get our first view of the Rolex 3000. Its also pretty obvious that at some point in its life the rotor post has been left worn, allowing the rotor to rub against the movement, hence the rhodium plating being worn away on some of the bridges. This causes no issues with the running of the watch and is a cosmetic issue only.

Rolex air king

I remove the automatic device and dismantle that first.

We can now get a better look at the movement. Its in very good condition, the only real issue, as I mentioned before, is the rhodium plating being worn away. The balance cock has been particularly affected.

Rolex air king

I begin dismantling the movement, first up to be removed is the ratchet wheel and crown wheel. I always check each part as it is removed for any wear or damage that could cause issues with the running of the watch. If I find any they will need to be replaced to ensure the watch functions as it should. With older movements where parts are hard to come by, I can afford to be a little more lenient. This ensures parts aren’t replaced unnecessarily, and the cost to the customer is kept to a reasonable level, whilst still maintaining a high standard of workmanship.

Rolex 3000 calibre

Next up, the barrel bridge and barrel are removed.

Rolex air king

Train bridge removed.

Rolex air king

The top side of the movement is stripped and ready for cleaning.

Rolex air king

Next I will start to dismantle the keyless works.

Rolex air king

Bottom side nearly complete and ready for cleaning.

Rolex 3000 calibre

I remove the mainspring from the barrel so the cleaning machine can do its job properly and ensure the barrel is completely clean. The barrel can sometimes be very dirty if it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, if this is the case I will often clean it by hand first to prolong the life of my cleaning fluids.

Once the watch is completely dismantled and any adjustments made, including hairspring adjustments if needed, end shakes and parts have been checked, its ready for the cleaning machine. In total this takes about 40 minutes and ensures the movement is completely clean before I rebuild and oil it.

My first job once its finished cleaning is to refit the keyless works.

Rolex 3000 calibre

Train, train bridge and barrel refitted.

Rolex 3000 calibre

Barrel bridge and its components oiled and fitted.

Rolex 3000 calibre

Dial and hands fitted back in place.

Rolex 3000 calibre

I have cleaned the case before refitting the movement. Looking a lot cleaner, and certainly running a lot better! Just the automatic device to be fitted.

Rolex 3000 calibre

Once I’ve checked the running on the timing machine, I test it for water resistance.

The watch must then pass through various tests, to ensure its performing to brand specifications.

Thanks for reading.

The watch Professional

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